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January 29, 2005

Hersh: "Iraq is becoming a 'free fire zone'"

Tingilinde has posted the transcript of Seymour Hersh's address to the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue.

Here's just one disturbing excerpt of this excruciatingly candid talk. I encourage everyone to read the whole thing.

We are systematically bombing [Iraq]. There are no embedded journalists at Doha, the Air Force base I think we're operating out of. No embedded journalists at the aircraft carrier, Harry Truman. That's the aircraft carrier that I think is doing many of the operational fights. There's no air defense, It's simply a turkey shoot. They come and hit what they want. We know nothing. We don't ask. We're not told. We know nothing about the extent of bombing. So if they're going to carry out an election and if they're going to succeed, bombing is going to be key to it, which means that what happened in Fallujah, essentially Iraq -- some of you remember Vietnam -- Iraq is being turn into a "free-fire zone" right in front of us. Hit everything, kill everything. I have a friend in the Air Force, a Colonel, who had the awful task of being an urban bombing planner, planning urban bombing, to make urban bombing be as unobtrusive as possible. I think it was three weeks ago today, three weeks ago Sunday after Fallujah I called him at home. I'm one of the people -- I don't call people at work. I call them at home, and he has one of those caller I.D.'s, and he picked up the phone and he said, "Welcome to Stalingrad." We know what we're doing. This is deliberate. It's being done. They're not telling us. They're not talking about it.


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For those interested in an extended audio and video excerpts of Hersh's speech at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, they can be found at the website of Amy Goodman's Democracy Now show, specifically:

(NB: For anyone reading this comment much after late January 2005, I'm not sure how long Democracy Now keeps its RealPlayer archives.)

And for more of the gory details, from the Economist, click there.

Democracy Now! programs are also archived in mp3 format (free downloads) at ...

It's an excellent talk ... anyone know if the whole thing is available on-line?

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